A simple and powerful way to identify your organization’s culture is to identify how people behave in the meetings or any other group settings.
Most Common cultural dimension is PLAY SAFE. People choose to play safe when the organization’s culture doesn’t provide safety pro-actively.
Human beings are fast learners of social rules and very soon people figure out what are the social rules in the organization. What is really expected not just what is said to be expected ? What is safe and what is not safe? What behaviors ? what topics? what communication style ? What you can address and what you can’t address? etc., are promptly understood and also communicated informally across the system.
If there is any doubt – PLAY SAFE. If there is no doubt, still PLAY safe – because that has become the pattern, the way of life in the organization.
How does it look in a meeting scenario:
Situation 1: Boss has an idea :
People align with the idea without much resistance or even sometimes without much critical thinking. Whether it gets implemented or not, and how people contribute to it is a different conversation altogether.
Situation 2: A team member has an idea :
Not sure, what percentage of team members are actually engaged enough to think and have an idea.
If they have an idea, not sure what percentage of team members would actually share the idea.
Luckily, if someone is brave enough and they share the idea. 2 Things will happen. Boss likes the idea and then it becomes the boss supported idea or boss’s idea and then rules of situation 1 apply.
The other option is boss doesn’t like the idea. Then generally the idea will disappear from the conversation very soon.
This is the common culture in majority of the organizations including educational institutions, business organizations, government, family run enterprises and more.
Of course, there are other cultural aspects too, but this is likely to be found in 80% or more organizations.
For knowing what are the other cultural dimensions and also how to transform organization culture reach out to EMERGING FUTURZ at email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org. This blogpost is based on learnings from Theory U by Dr. Otto Scharmer of M.I.T USA.